A trans woman has won a court victory after being kept as a ‘sex slave’ in a men’s prison.
Strawberry Hampton, over the past two years, has been housed in four different facilities for men.
She has sued the Illinois Department of Corrections several times to get transferred to a women’s prison.
She claims she was the victim of sexual assault, both by other inmates and by guards.
Court documents show Hampton claims an officer pulled down her pants. She also says she was forced to have phone sex with an officer, and other officers made her have sex with her cellmate while they watched.
She says she was also told if she complained, she would ‘disappear’.
US District Court Judge Nancy Rosenstengel issued an order requiring the Illinois Department of Corrections to reevaluate Hampton’s request to transfer to a women’s facility.
‘A review of Hampton’s full mental health and disciplinary history in the context of her substantiated… complaints and grievances may lead the [Department’s Transgender Care Review Committee] itself to conclude that Hampton is safest in a woman’s prison,’ Rosenstengel wrote.
‘If not, the Court can revisit the issue after the Constitutional issues have been decided at trial.’
The judge also ruled Hampton must be allowed to attend a transgender support group at the prison. She is currently not allowed to.
She mandated the Illinois Department of Corrections develop training for staff on transgender issues.
‘This is also an important step, not only for Strawberry but, in general, for transgender women imprisoned across the nation,’ said Vanessa del Valle, Hampton’s lawyer.
‘The Illinois Department of Corrections maintains a strict zero-tolerance policy toward all forms of sexual abuse and sexual harassment,’ said a spokesperson for the Department of Corrections.
Hampton is serving a 10-year sentence for burglary.